[Note: Links are posted for informational purposes and do not imply endorsements. Ed.]
ABHC’s mission is to advance best practices in clinical, educational and care management programs related to mental health. The organization recently formed a partnership with Mental Health America (formerly, the National Mental Health Association). The alliance is designed to increase collaboration between scientists and mental health advocates and better integrate research, care and policy decision-making. ABHC does not maintain a website, but can be contacted through its president to whom this link is connected.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the health services research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), complementing the biomedical research mission of its sister agency, the National Institutes of Health. AHRQ is a home to research centers that specialize in major areas of health care research such as quality improvement and patient safety, outcomes and effectiveness of care, clinical practice and technology assessment, and health care organization and delivery systems. It is also a major source of funding and technical assistance for health services research and research training at leading U.S. universities and other institutions, as well as a science partner, working with the public and private sectors to build the knowledge base for what works—and does not work—in health and health care and to translate this knowledge into everyday practice and policymaking.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how the human brain works. Through a product-focused approach, it generates innovative public resources used by researchers and organizations around the globe. Additionally, it drives technological and analytical advances, creating new knowledge and providing new ways to address questions about the brain in health and disease. Its work and efforts are intended to fuel discovery for the broader scientific community worldwide. Launched in 2003 with seed funding from founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and supported by a diversity of public and private funds, the Allen Institute for Brain Science provides researchers and educators with a variety of unique online public resources integrating extensive gene expression data and neuroanatomy, complete with sophisticated data search and viewing tools.
A bipartisan Washington healthcare think tank headed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Alliance for Health Reform believes that our country is at the beginning of what promises to be a lengthy period of adjustment to the health reform law, especially since there will be an added, intense focus on reducing federal spending on the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs. This is a period that will see continuing delivery system innovation and more vigorous efforts to prevent disease, improve the quality of care and gain greater value for each health care dollar spent. These changes will occur in ways that reflect, and in some cases go beyond, the changes made in the new law. The Alliance for Health Reform will continue to pursue its mission during this period by:
- explaining the myriad provisions of the law, and their policy implications;
- examining how various aspects of the law are being carried out, at both
federal and state levels;
- tracking how well the law is achieving its objectives in coverage, cost and
- looking at proposed changes in the law, as unintended consequences and
“unfinished business” emerge over time;
- examining proposals for lowering health care costs generally, including
federal spending in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and explaining their
impact on beneficiaries.
Families in the maelstrom are no strangers to addictions. Nearly 50% of all those with psychiatric disabilities self-medicate with substance abuse at some point. Families may need to find a psychiatrist who also specializes in addictions, The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) is an international professional membership organization founded in 1985 with approximately 1,000 members. Membership consists of psychiatrists working with addiction, faculty at various academic institutions, medical students, residents and fellows, and related health professionals making a contribution to the field of addiction psychiatry. The AAAP website has a national locator of addiction psychiatrists.
The American Association of Ambulatory Behavior Health promotes partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient Programs as a vital component of the behavioral healthcare continuum.
The mission of the AACP is to encourage, equip, and empower community and public psychiatrists to develop and implement policies and high-quality practices that promote individual, family and community resilience and recovery.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy. We represent the professional interests of more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Behavioral Health Consortium
ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership, is widely recognized for the experience and diversity of its membership base in addressing pressing issues in the behavioral healthcare profession and developing consensus to establish a shared vision for the field. Founded in 1979, ACMHA has more than 30 years of experience in serving as the “brain trust” of the behavioral health profession and providing peer-to-peer venues, expanding leadership development, and promoting best practices in the field.
The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), founded in 1961, is the nation’s premier professional society in brain, behavior, and psychopharmacology research. The field of neuropsychopharmacology involves the evaluation of the effects of natural and synthetic compounds upon the brain, mind, and human behavior. The principal function of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields by:
- promoting the interaction of a broad range of scientific disciplines of brain and behavior in order to advance the understanding of causes, prevention and treatment of diseases of the nervous system including psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and addictive disorders;
- encouraging scientists to enter research careers in fields related to these disorders and their treatment; and
- ensuring the dissemination of relevant scientific advances in these disorders.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is a professional organization with 7,000 members committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric mental health nursing, health and wellness promotion through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world’s largest association of psychologists, with more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.
Families with loved ones who have dual diagnoses (a severe mental illness and a substance abuse problem) need more help when trying to chart a rehabilitation course. Studies show better outcomes for such loved ones when both illnesses are treated together, an evidence-based practices called Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT). Another resource is the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). ASAM is a professional society representing close to 3,000 physicians (including some some psychiatrists) dedicated to increasing access and improving quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addictions. ASAM also sets the generally accepted criteria for addiction classificaitions, an important consideration for financing treatment, since most insurance companies fund on the basis of the “ASAM criteria”. ASAM has an online directory that family members can search for ASAM certified physicians in their area.
The Annapolis Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the recruitment, retention, training and performance of the prevention and treatment workforce in the mental health and addictions sectors of the behavioral health field. It seeks to strengthen the workforce role of persons in recovery and family members in caring for themselves and each other, as well as improving the capacity of all health and human service personnel to respond to the behavioral health needs of the individuals they serve. Concluding a two-year, federally funded strategic planning process that involved over 5,000 individuals, the Annapolis Coalition released the national Action Plan on Behavioral Health Workforce Development in 2007.
The Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP) focuses on education in psychiatry at every level from the beginning of medical school through lifelong learning for psychiatrists and other physicians. AAP seeks to help psychiatrists who are interested in careers in academic psychiatry develop the skills and knowledge in teaching, research and career development that they must have to succeed. AAP provides a forum for members to exchange ideas on teaching techniques, curriculum, and other issues and to work together to solve problems. The Association works with other professional organizations on mutual interests and objectives through committee liaison and collaborative programs.
The Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW) is the national voice for specialty behavioral health and wellness companies. ABHW member companies provide specialty services to treat mental health, substance use and other behaviors that impact health. ABHW supports effective federal, state and accrediting organization policies that ensure specialty behavioral health organizations (BHOs) can continue to increase quality, manage costs and promote wellness for the over 100 million people served by our members.
APSE is the only national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. APSE is a growing national non-profit membership organization, founded in 1988 and is now known as Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE). APSE has chapters in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our members
come from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, as well as several foreign
countries. APSE’s HR Connect offers consultation services to help businesses reach out to and partner with one of the strongest labor and customer pools in the country: the disability community. APSE supports the only annual national conference focused solely on
the advancement of integrated employment.
The mission of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is to protect and advance the rights of adults and children who have mental disabilities. The Bazelon Center envisions an America where people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities exercise their own life choices and have access to the resources that enable them to participate fully in their communities.
The Center is a research, training, and service organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons who have psychiatric disabilities. Its work is guided by the most basic of rehabilitation values, that first and foremost, persons with psychiatric disabilities have the same goals and dreams as any other person. Its mission is to increase the likelihood that they can achieve these goals by improving the effectiveness of people, programs, and service systems.
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation began in 1981 as a family movement and has become the world’s leading private funder of mental health research, supporting ithe most promising research by the most talented scientists that offer potential for breakthrough discoveries to address mental illness. In 2012, the Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The Center for Health Care Strategies is a nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving health care quality for low-income children and adults, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, frail elders, and racially and ethnically diverse populations experiencing disparities in care. It works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and consumer groups to develop innovative programs that better serve people with complex and high-cost health care needs.
Based in Washington, D.C. the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) conducts health policy research and analysis focused on the U.S. health care system to inform the thinking and decisions of policy makers in government and private industry. Additionally, HSC studies contribute more broadly to the body of health care policy research that enables decision makers to understand the national and local market forces driving changes in the health system.
CATIE is a University of North Carolina project to evaluate clinical effectiveness of atypical antipsychotics for treatment of schizophrenia.
CI is a global resource for communities creating solutions for people with mental illness. CI helps communities around the world create CI Clubhouses, which are community centers that give people with mental illness hope and opportunities to reach their full potential. CI Clubhouses, now over 300 worldwide, are founded on the realization that recovery from serious mental illness must involve the whole person in a vital and culturally sensitive community. An CI Clubhouse community offers respect, hope, mutuality and unlimited opportunity to access the same worlds of friendship, housing, education, healthcare and employment as the rest of society.
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.
As families in the maelstrom frequently experience but do not always understand, caring too much can hurt. When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, destructive behaviors can surface. Apathy, isolation, bottled up emotions and substance abuse head a long list of symptoms associated with the secondary traumatic stress disorder now labeled: Compassion Fatigue. While the effects of Compassion Fatigue can cause pain and suffering, learning to recognize and manage its symptoms is the first step toward healing. The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project is dedicated to educating caregivers about authentic, sustainable self-care and aiding organizations in their goal of providing healthy, compassionate care to those whom they serve. This site has numerous resources we have found for caregivers working in many professions. The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project also offers original training materials, workbooks, and texts.
The mission of the Consortium of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Educators is to develop, promote, and support academic initiatives and higher education programs specific to the contemporary practice of psychiatric rehabilitation.
DrugWatch.com is a comprehensive online medical database featuring information about thousands of medications currently on the market or previously available worldwide. By providing extensive information about side effects, drug interactions, FDA recalls and drug alerts, DrugWatch.com helps patients and consumers make educated decisions about their medications and treatment options.
Dual Anon Family Groups exist to help family and friends of people who experience two no-fault diseases: chemical dependency and emotional or psychiatric illness. Families coping with these diseases often feel alone and uncertain. Often family members try to help in ways that end up making the situation worse; others give up; others don’t know what to do.
Dual Anon, through weekly meetings, provides a base of support. We share each other’s struggles and provide an atmosphere of care and understanding. We all know what it’s like to see our loved one fall apart and to wish we could hold him together with our two hands; then watch him fall apart anyway. We understand the chaos that addiction and emotional or psychiatric illness bring to families.
The mission of the Foundation To promote better mental health outcomes. It does so by identifying, developing, and sharing knowledge with the public about mental health care that best helps people recover and live well in society. It promotes improvements in mental health care by sponsoring research and the development of programs designed to help people thrive–physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.
Freedom Center is a support and activism community run by and for people labeled with severe ‘mental disorders.’ It calls for compassion, human rights, self-determination, and holistic options. It creates alternatives to the mental health system’s widespread despair, abuse, fraudulent science and dangerous treatments. It s based in pro-choice harm reduction philosophy regarding medical treatments, and include people taking or not taking medications.
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is a family of health care databases and related software tools and products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). HCUP databases bring together the data collection efforts of State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal government to create a national information resource of patient-level health care data (HCUP Partners). HCUP includes the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter-level information beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on a broad range of health policy issues, including cost and equality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels.
The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates with actual experiences of “mental illness” rather than trying to fit consumers’ lives into a conventional framework. It is a network of people living with and/or affected by experiences that are often diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions. Icarus believes these experiences are mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness, creativity, and collaboration can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. Participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.
MHCA is an alliance of select organizations that provide behavioral health and/or related services, designed to strengthen its members’ competitive positions, enhance their leadership capabilities and facilitate their strategic networking opportunities.
The Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) is an advocacy coalition on mental health issues. The MHLG conducts one plenary annual business meeting each year, and most MHLG activity is conducted at the committee level. The Steering Committee and other standing committees may organize and schedule educational briefings, plenary business meetings, or other events throughout the year, as needed for matters of exceptional importance.
Mental Health Ministries seeks to help erase the stigma of mental illness in faith communities and help congregations become care more for persons living with a mental illness and their families. Mental Health Ministries also collaborates with faith communities, advocacy groups, community organizations and mental health professionals to lift up the importance of using a person’s faith and spirituality as part of the overall treatment and recovery process.
Mental Illness Policy Org. is a “Think-Tank” founded in 2011 to provide unbiased and easy-to-access information to the media and policy-makers about care and treatment of people with serious and persistent mental illness. The issues facing people with serious and persistent mental illness are different from those with mental ‘health’ issues. Their needs often get lost in the larger dialogue. Being honest about this population requires addressing difficult issues like violence and involuntary treatment, issues many organizations prefer to avoid. Mental Illness Policy Org. brings together the best research and insights from pro-psychiatry and anti-psychiatry writers and researchers around the world and synthesizes that into actionable policies designed to improve care, save money, and keep public and patients safer.
MindFreedom International is a nonprofit organization that unites 100 sponsor and affiliate grassroots groups with thousands of individual members to win human rights and alternatives for people labeled with psychiatric disabilities. “In a spirit of mutual cooperation, MindFreedom leads a nonviolent revolution of freedom, equality, truth and human rights that unites people affected by the mental health system with movements for justice everywhere.”
NASHP is an independent academy of state health policymakers. It is dedicated to helping states achieve excellence in health policy and practice. NASHP provides a forum for constructive, nonpartisan work across branches and agencies of state government on critical health issues facing states. It is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Its funders include both public and private organizations that contract for our services.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.
The National Association of Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Administrators (NAC/SMHA) represents state mental health department senior managers who self-identify as current or former recipients of mental health services. The Association provides a forum for members to develop strategies for balancing the often disparate demands and expectations of the two constituencies they serve: consumers/survivors and mental health bureaucracies. The organization serves as a vehicle for networking and peer support, and is committed to expanding the participation of consumers/survivors in all aspects of the public mental health system. The Association offers technical assistance to state mental health departments who are interested in developing offices of consumer/ex-patient relations.
NACBHDD is the only national voice for county and local behavioral health and developmental disability authorities in Washington, DC. Through education, policy analysis, and advocacy, NACBHDD brings the unique perspective of our members to Congress and the Executive Branch and promotes national policies that recognize and support the critical role counties play in caring for people affected by mental illness, addiction, and developmental disabilities.
NAMHPAC provides support, policy development, knowledge products, and technical assistance to the nation’s State-based mental health planning and advisory councils. NAMHPAC is a non-profit organization whose membership is nation-wide and includes members form each State and Territory mental health planning council.
The National Association of Peer Specialists, Inc. (NAPS) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to peer support among individuals with psychiatric disabilities in mental health systems. Founded in November 2004 by a group of peer specialists, NAPS is dedicated to promoting peer specialists throughout the United States, seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the mental health system through the hiring of other peer specialists.
The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems advocates for behavioral health and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. The NAPHS vision is of a society that values and maximizes the potential of all its citizens by helping them to achieve overall health. To achieve healthy communities, behavioral health will be recognized, respected, and allocated resources with fairness and equity as part of overall health.
The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) is a member organization representing state executives responsible for the $36.7 billion public mental health service delivery system serving 6.8 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia. NASMHPD operates under a cooperative agreement with the National Governors Association.
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) will ensure that consumer/survivors have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community.
The National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment (NCSE) is a research group meant to promote recovery by understanding stigma and promoting empowerment. The Consortium is located at the Illinois Institute of Technology with a collection of researchers at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Temple University, the University of Wisconsin, Illinois State University, and the University of Chicago.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious and often life-threatening disorder characterized by severe emotional pain and difficulties managing emotions. The problems associated with BPD include impulsivity (including suicidality and self-harm), severe negative emotion such as anger and/or shame, chaotic relationships, an extreme fear of abandonment, and accompanying difficulties maintaining a stable and accepting sense of self.
The National Family Caregivers Association educates, supports, empowers and speaks up for the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability or the frailties of old age. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages to help transform family caregivers’ lives by removing barriers to health and well being.
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. It was conceived in Arlington, Virginia in February, 1989 by a group of 18 people determined to make a difference in the way the system works. The National Federation works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms, and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for children with mental health needs and their families. To visit the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health website, click here.
The mission of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is to close the gap between science and service by improving the science and practice of implementation in relation to evidence-based programs and practices.
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, the nation’s first national consumer technical assistance center, has played a major role in the development of the mental health consumer movement. The consumer movement strives for dignity, respect, and opportunity for those with mental illnesses. Consumers–those who receive or have received mental health services–continue to reject the label of “those who cannot help themselves.”
NREPP is a searchable online registry of of more than 190 mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers. Its purpose is to assist the public in identifying approaches to preventing and treating mental and/or substance use disorders that have been scientifically tested and that can be readily disseminated to the field. Maintained by SAMHSA, NREPP is a voluntary, self-nominating system in which intervention developers elect to participate. There will always be some interventions that are not submitted to NREPP, and not all that are submitted are reviewed. In addition, new intervention summaries are continually being added, so the registry is always growing.
Ms. Tina Champagne M.Ed., OTR/L, is a Massachusetts-based occupational therapist doing interesting things in mental health. “Occupational Therapy”, she writes, “has grown significantly as a profession since its conception in mental health. The work of many dedicated practitioners and those of the next decade promise an explosion of information, which will impact our theoretical frameworks, practices and perspectives on mental illness altogether.” Miss Champagne has developed a website of interesting resources that can benefit loved ones and their families. She has particularly interesting information about sensory modulation and the role it can play in psychiatric rehabilitation, including even in reducing the traumatizing use of seclusion and restraints.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association was founded in 1958. Its name was changed to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in 1994 to underscore the extraordinary commitment of member companies to research. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., PhRMA represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.
The mission of Recovery International is to use the cognitive-behavioral, peer-to-peer, self-help training system developed by Abraham Low, MD, to help individuals gain skills to lead more peaceful and productive lives. The organization meets this mission by providing mental health self-help groups Recovery International community, telephone and online meetings, The Power to Change for Schools and The Power to Change for Corrections.
The Ticket To Work Program connects Social Security beneficiaries (i.e., recipients of SSI or SSD) with employment service providers (known as Employment Networks) to achieve individual work goals. The Program helps recipients to explore work options and still receive their Social Security benefits until they are able to support themselves.
The Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy is a not-for-profit healthcare organization dedicated to individuals interested in advocacy as well as patient representatives, guest relations professionals, physicians, nurses, social workers and others currently employed in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, home health agencies, long-term care facilities and other health-related organizations
The UCLA Center for Research on Treatment & Rehabilitation of Psychosis is a group of laboratories and units that provide research services, consultation and technical assistance to investigators pursuing studies of severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Cosponsored by the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, the Center fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary research on mental disorders by serving as an organizational catalyst for research projects which are funded by a variety of public and private agencies and foundations.
US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association advances the availability and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation so that all individuals with a serious mental illness have access to the supports they need to recover.
Volunteers of America is “a ministry of service” that includes nearly 16,000 paid, professional employees dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human service programs around the country, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps more than 2 million people in over 400 co0mmunities in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Since 1896, it has supported America’s most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities (including psychiatric disabilities), and those recovering from addictions. Its work touches the mind, body, heart — and ultimately the spirit — of those it serves, integrating VOA’s
deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. Approximately
65,000 volunteers throughout the country help its employees deliver its